Artwork by Pop Zhao
At least that seems to be what restaurants think, according to the blog DeluxZilla. Apparently, annoyed that the company’s coke vending machines are taking away from drink sales and sapping electricity, Expo restaurants have now been just unplugging them.
Unless one ventures into a country pavilion to sample some of the local food and drink, the only beverages really available inside the Expo are products of the Coca-Cola Company. They stock the restaurants, the freestanding beverage tents and the vending machines. It is very hard to walk through the Expo and not see something Coke related.
Restaurants and buildings inside the park are justifying their unplugging of the vending machines by saying they run off the building’s power, yet the establishment does not collect any money from the sale of Coca-Cola via a vending machine. I’ve personally seen a dozen vending machines “out of service” at the Expo, though they actually all work fine.
Often, a Coke product inside a restaurant is often insanely marked up – sometimes reaching 25RMB when a coke from a vending machine outside is just 4RMB.
But Coke itself apparently isn’t opposed to sabotage. One of the few places that does sell non-Coke products is the USA Pavilion (their sponsor is Pepsi). Deluxzilla alleged that “at one point, the company actually held up CO2 canisters being delivered to the United States pavilion to carbonate Pepsi being sold inside.”
Yeesh, how cut throat! Good thing there was no Pepsi Pavilion at the Expo – lord knows what kind of Expo-wide war that would’ve started!